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Continued Positivity and Staff Movement Fuels Japan's Active Jobs Market: Hays Quarterly Hotspots

Tokyo, Oct 17, 2013 - (ACN Newswire) - Financial Controllers, Office Managers and Web and Smartphone Application Developers are just three of the professionals sought by employers in Japan as the movement of candidates fuels an active recruitment market, says recruiting experts Hays in Japan.

According to the recruiter's latest Hays Quarterly Hotspots list of skills in demand, some new positions were created in the new fiscal year but most vacancies are to replace departing staff.

"Overall, the activity level for both jobs and the number of candidates is good," says Jonathan Sampson, Regional Director of Hays in Japan. "We anticipate the recruitment market will continue to remain active until the end of the calendar year and beyond.

"If budgets are depleted before the end of the year but departments still need support, we will see a rise in temporary and contract hires.

"But while there are many job openings, some companies still remain uncertain of the long-term potential of the current postivity and are not in a hurry to fill the role. Consequently they run a lengthy process. This can be a risk as the continuing high level of competition for candidates means that companies with slow interview processes often miss out on good talent, as candidates can be enticed by competing offers from faster moving companies.

"In addition, many candidates receive multiple offers as there is a high level of competition. In response, employers are offering sign-on and other bonuses."

A selection of skills in demand in Japan from the Hays Quarterly Hotspots follows:

-- Financial Planning and Analysis staff - There has been strong demand for Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) staff as the job market has picked up in Japan. Bilingual candidates with analytical skills are particularly sought after.

-- Financial Controllers / Finance Directors - There are many candidates interested in these positions, however companies are usually very specific in the industry experience, skill set and profile they will consider.

-- Banking Operations - These candidates are sought in response to the increased number of foreign participants (institutions) using the Zengin system, as well as recent regulatory changes.

-- FX Sales - Throughout the year there has been a strong increase in demand for currency sales, both institutional and corporate. This is mainly due to the strength of the Yen and general confidence in the economy.

-- Foreign-Registered Associate Attorneys for international firms - Most top-tier international law firms are looking for junior (0-3 years PQE) to mid level (3-8 years) Associate Attorneys who are bilingual in English and Japanese, licensed in either the US, UK or Australia and hold a foreign or Japanese law degree. Most firms require these foreign Attorneys to have at least two years of work experience in their home jurisdiction in order to attain the Gaiben qualification. Some firms are willing to hire an associate and then transfer them to a foreign jurisdiction to satisfy the Gaiben requirement.

-- Bengoshi - Due to an increase in business transactions and the accompanying need for litigation support and dispute resolution, foreign law firms are hiring Japan-licensed Lawyers (Bengoshi) to assist with their domestic legal matters. Many qualified Bengoshi working for law firms will be sponsored to go to the US to obtain a LLM degree as part of the firm's career development plan for them. Bengoshi are also in demand for corporate in-house roles where a solid understanding of Japanese laws is required.

-- Executive Secretaries - A range of different companies require bilingual Executive Secretaries to support both Japanese and foreign executives. Candidates who can translate and interpret as part of their duties are particularly sought.

-- Office Managers - Office Managers are in demand for new start up companies in Japan. There have also been positions available at established small to medium-sized companies that involve a mix of duties including general affairs and secretary duties.

-- IT Managers/Directors - There is high demand within our life science, retail, supply chain and technology client portfolio for IT Managers and IT Directors as companies change their focus and drive to align their technology even more closely to the business. The ideal candidates are typically experienced IT Managers, creative and driven with a strong history developing technology in order to help drive the business or the organisation.

-- Web and Smartphone Application Developers - There is currently a high demand for Web Application Developers. A lot of foreign companies have developed new web and Smartphone applications that have created a high demand for candidates with skills in Java and Objective C related development languages and tools in Japan. The typical candidate will have five years of working development experience in one of the above technologies and will be ambitious and highly driven with both domestic and overseas working experience.

-- Network - Unified Communications - The need for more efficient enterprise business communication from all industries has created high demand for Unified Communication related technologies and initiatives. This has driven a need from network vendor/services companies for candidates with strong Cisco IP Telephony and Microsoft Lync Server skills.

-- HR roles in remote locations - As foreign businesses expand their operations across Japan, they are struggling to find bilingual and experienced HR professionals to work outside core business areas. Candidates who are able to relocate can take advantage of these opportunities to progress their careers as there is less competition for these roles.

-- Pharmaceutical CRA - New drugs are constantly coming out which fuels an ongoing demand for pharmaceutical CRAs. These new drugs span across various therapeutic areas. More and more CRAs are required to support and conduct the activity of monitoring clinical trials. The number of drugs requiring monitoring is going up and therefore so is demand.

-- Pharmaceutical Medical Affairs - Prior to launch pharmaceutical companies attempt to increase market awareness and inform key opinion leaders about the specific disease areas. Given this need, pharmaceutical companies are competing to hire the most effective Medical Affairs and Medical Science Liaisons.

-- Application Support - Within finance technology, we are seeing high trading activity in the Japan market as the economy and financial market conditions improve. Support areas that were previously reduced now need extra front office headcount in equity (mainly) and fixed income. Technology vendors are also seeing an increase in activity and need extra client-facing support personnel.

-- Business Analysts - Most financial services companies have recently added new Business Analyst roles in response to new system requirements (often regulatory driven) in front-middle-back office areas. Some BA roles are also including technical skills or PM cross-over functions. This is so that companies can use the staff they hire in a slightly more flexible way if needed.

-- Actuary - Although competition between senior candidates is intensifying, associate level candidates remain in high demand. During the last quarter there were some announcements regarding M&A activity in the insurance industry, and therefore it is likely that there will be more senior candidates in the job market.

-- Facilities Managers - Managers with experience in BCP and crisis management, mechanical and electrical engineering, or in vendor relations/management are in demand.

-- Construction Managers - Demand exists for Construction Managers with experience in new build construction, whether that be commercial, industrial, mixed use and residential.

-- Digital Marketing Managers - The internet is an essential daily tool and companies are therefore seeking Digital Marketing Managers to reach and impact customers through online advertisements, campaigns and promotions.

-- Relationship Managers - These sales professionals are sought to maintain existing clients and find new business opportunities. Organisations are focusing on deepening their relationships with their clients in the mid to long term, rather than solely focusing on short-term successes.

-- Indirect Procurement Officers - High demand exists for Indirect Procurement Officers as this is a relatively new department here in Japan. In the current market (not only in Japan but globally) the mandate is cost cutting. Since much of the purchasing is being done by the relevant departments within each organization, a solid Indirect Procurement Officer will ensure both short and long term cost optimization.

-- Electronics/Components Procurement - With the help of Abenomics Japanese manufacturers are doing their best to take global electronics market share. Share prices have rapidly increased for Japan's major electronics manufacturers and they are recruiting procurement professionals to ride this wave.

For the full list of skills in demand, please view our Hays Quarterly Hotspots.

Hays, the world's leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.

About Hays

Hays is the leading global specialist recruiting group. It is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide.

Hays Specialist Recruitment Japan KK ("Hays") is the largest foreign recruitment company in Japan and operates across the private sector, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments. Hays has been in Japan for more than a decade, and boasts a track record of success and growth.

Hays is the only foreign recruitment company in Japan to operate specialist business units composed of professionals with experience and expertise in the sectors they cover. Hays Japan's thirteen specialisms span Accountancy & Finance, Banking, Finance Technology, Human Resources, Hays Resource Management, Information Technology, Insurance, Legal, Life Sciences, Office Professionals, Property, Sales & Marketing and Supply Chain.

Hays is also the only foreign recruitment company in Japan to operate three local offices, serving the Kanto region from Akasaka and Shinjuku, and Kansai from central Osaka.

Hays Japan is the local representative office for Hays plc, which is a global company with more than 7,840 staff operating from 239 offices in 33 countries across 20 specialisms.

Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the UK and the USA.

Keiko Asakura
Hays Japan
Marketing Manager
[email protected]

Source: Hays

Copyright 2013 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved.

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